You may have heard the Mississippi River called "The Mighty Mississippi" or have seen this magnificent river at many stops along its route. It’s one of the longest rivers in the world following behind the Nile, the Amazon, and the Yangtze Rivers. But, despite it’s mightiness, the Mississippi River has very humble beginnings.
Welcome to Itasca State Park located in northern Minnesota. It’s Minnesota’s oldest state park and a very popular tourist destination due to it’s wealth of history and nature. Perhaps the most popular spot in the park is the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
- The widest part of the Mississippi River is at Lake Winnibigoshish near Bena, Minnesota where it is wider than 11 miles.
- At Lake Itasca, the water flows at about 6 cubic feet per second. At New Orleans, the water flows at 600,000 cubic feet per second. (There are approximately 7.489 gallons of water in a cubic foot.)
- The Mississippi River is home to at least 260 species of fish!
- 326 species of birds use the Mississippi River as it migratory path.
- Itasca State Park was designated on April 20, 1891, but it wasn’t until the 1930’s that the land was preserved due to a lot of help from the Civilian Conservation Corps.